As a result of the continuing uncertainty that pervades Brexit, the UK’s biggest mortgage lender, Halifax, has stated that house prices across the country will continue to be ‘subdued’. The area noted to be most affected, was London.
House prices falling
Halifax also revealed that the average house price had fallen by 1.6% in March, in comparison to the previous month. Nevertheless, prices haven’t fallen dramatically, as prices still remained 2.6% higher in the first three months of 2019 compared to the previous year.
The mortgage lender stated that it was unlikely that house prices were to fall sharply, as there has been a lack of activity on both the buyers and sellers side. However, it is anticipated that prices will remain subdued as a result of the uncertainty regarding Brexit, for at least the next coming months and with a 6-month extension recently granted.
Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, also reiterated that the price growth was going to continue to slow down, stating: “For the past couple of years March was flagged up as the date when we would get Brexit [but] people have been too busy watching the political shenanigans on television to go out and view houses.
“The Brexit saga is such a debacle and until it gets sorted, one way or another, few people are going to do anything.”
Uncertainty for tenants and landlords
The media has also focused this week on the uncertainty surrounding EU residents who are renting or looking to rent in the UK. The Right to Rent Scheme assures that landlords only rent to legal immigrants or face fines of up to £5,000, meaning that EU residents must re-confirm their residential status provided that Britain leave the EU.
The Settled Status Scheme is designed to assist with this, but the rules surrounding the requirements of current EU citizens living in the UK has been very vague, and many are asking for clearer guidelines.
One area of concern is that landlords will be more hesitant towards renting out their properties to EU tenants – and this poses challenges for EU nationals who might feel excluded or wedged out. There is talk about the government launching a marketing campaign which excludes how EU nationals can legally continue living in the UK and how to go through the legal process, without impacting their day-to-day lives.